Jump Start #3239
Jump Start # 3239
1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
The word of the cross—what a great phrase that is. And, that is exactly what the apostles took into the world. The message was Jesus crucified, risen and reigning. And, to the world back then, such a message was foolish.
Today, we see images of crosses everywhere. It’s jewelry. They are found on signs. They are found in church buildings. And, I expect if someone from the first century could travel in time to our days, they’d be shocked and disturbed to see so many crosses. For us, it’s about Jesus. But for the person of the first century, it’s about death. They’d probably wonder if we put electric chairs, gas chambers and injection needles around our necks. The cross was repulsive. The cross was shameful. The cross was Rome’s heavy hand upon those who rebelled.
There is a message from the cross. The word of the cross teaches us things:
First, it teaches us about the price God had to pay to redeem us. The cross of Jesus was a sacrifice. He gave, no one took. He offered, no one stole. Without that pure, perfect sacrifice, we’d be in our sins to this day. Without that divine offering we’d not be justified, redeemed, or even able to talk to God. Sin separates. Sin kills. The cross is the cure.
Second, it teaches that Satan doesn’t have the last word. The darkness of Calvary sure seemed like he did. Jesus died. No angels came to His rescue. No soldiers rallied to His aid. No help from Heaven. He died. He was buried and from the depths of Hell, it sure looked like Satan won. But up from the grave He arose. And, He didn’t just come out of that grave, He ascended to the right hand of God where He reigns today. The cross bruised Jesus and the resurrection crushed Satan. So, we know the outcome. We know how the story will end. We know that God wins.
Third, it teaches us that sin doesn’t have to ruin us. We are washed in the blood of Jesus. We cleansed by Christ. Our scarlet sins have become whiter than the snow. God has blotted out those mistakes. As far as the east is from the west, He has removed the sins from our lives. Sin can control us. Sin can dominate us. Sin can destroy everything good in our lives. And, sin can ruin us. But the cross, His cross, changes all of that. For the first time, there is real hope. For the first time, salvation is possible. For the first time, we can truly be Heaven bound.
Fourth, it teaches us that there is a better way. The way of the cross, we sing, leads home. Had we followed God’s way all along we would not have been in the messes that we got ourselves into. Following the crowd isn’t the direction that leads to freedom. Doing the norm, or what is average, only leads to being in a mass of people that are doomed and without hope. God’s way works. God’s way brings peace. God’s way results in us trusting Him and worrying less. God’s way drives away fear and doubt. Confidence soars when we walk with God. Examples throughout the Scriptures teach us and encourage us.
The cross speaks. It speaks very loudly. It speaks today. And, the message is salvation in Jesus Christ.
The word of the cross—who would have thought long ago, that those old rough wooden beams that formed the cross could speak. Who would have thought that long after those wooden timbers rotted away and were forgotten, that Heaven never forgot. Who would have thought that among the three deaths that day, one of them would change the world. Who would have thought that hundreds of years before you and I were born, that His death on that cross, would change future lives.
The word of the cross…powerful, plain, profound. Have you heard what the cross says?